7 years ago, a little known television show called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip came on air. At the same time, 30 Rock came on air, and many critics compared the two shows to each other, often wondering which one would succeed and which one would be cancelled.
Well, history has taught us that 30 Rock grew on to become one of the most beloved and successful comedies of all time. Written and created by Tina Fey, the show is based on her life experiences of going on the road to becoming the star she is today. Starring Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer, the show’s series finale aired on January 31st. With the finale leaving fans mourning the end of such a beloved show, it provided many answers to the numerous questions asked- most importantly: who is Kenneth and how old is he? The finale left the fans fulfilled but always yearning for more, and marked the end of adored series.
138 episodes in seven years led to 14 Emmy wins, and while the show has never had more than 8 million viewers per episode, there has always been a comedic intelligence behind the show. Fey went through a long process in order to get the show made- she pitched the idea in 2002, and the show was set to shoot in the 2005-2006 season, all until two NBC executives were against the idea because the shooting of the show would mean Fey would not be part of Saturday Night Live, and they feared her absence would lead to a drop in ratings. This thus delayed the start of the show until those two executives relented, allowing Fey to go on with the idea.
And so, 30 Rock was born. The show has followed Liz Lemon through the years, from becoming the head writer of the fictional “TGS” (a SNL type show, which is reasonable due to the fact it is based on Fey’s progress though SNL and her career overall) to overcoming her relationships and talking it out with Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin). The show has seen its fair share of guest stars — with Steve Martin, Jon Hamm, Will Arnett, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Buscemi and more, all playing hilarious characters.
Now, while in viewer ratings it may not have been the best show on air (often losing out viewers to The Big Bang Theory), there still was some amazing comedy genius behind the show. Alec Baldwin recently stated why he thought 30 Rock was ending. “Tina always had her antenna up, but this year was the first time she came in and laid down on the couch on set, and you could tell, she’s a mom. She’s fucking wiped out.” Tina Fey herself had something to say about the success of the show. “I feel like we made a lot of good episodes of the kind of show that usually gets cancelled. The kind where there’s 20 episodes and ‘only me and my hipster friends know about it.’ That part’s still true, but we made about 140 of them!”
The show often times made fun of itself through the use of “the show within a show” technique. Since the show was never actually thought to succeed or to even pass a second season, there are moments where the show acknowledges the fact and also acknowledges the real outside world — like the rumor that Baldwin was running for mayor of New York City, and in the show his character was running for mayor. But now it’s time to move on with the show. Baldwin and Fey both have signed contracts with NBC — Baldwin for 2 years, Fey for 4. The other cast members also have some new “gigs” on the side, but in all, it sure will be hard for fans of the show to find something else to fill up their Thursday nights.
For now, here are some of the series’ best moments, and don’t forget to comment what were your favorite moments in the show.